Sunday, 26 September 2010

Retro review: Stigmata 2000

A film review by Roger Crow

United States, 1999
UK Release Date: 21 January 2000
Running Length: 1:42
BBFC Classification: 18 (Blood, mature themes, swearing, blink-and-you'll-miss it sex & nudity, annoying editing)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
Cast: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Dick Latessa, Portia de Rossi, Patrick Muldoon, Rade Sherbedgia (bless you!)
Director: Rupert Wainwright
Producer: Frank Mancuso Jr.
Screenplay: Tom Lazarus
Cinematography: Jeffrey L Kimball
Music: Billy Corgan and Elia Cmiral
UK Distributor: MGM

Warning: This review contains spoilers.

Stanley Kubrick once said that all you need to make good movie are six non-submersible units. In a nutshell, six scenes that stick in the mind long after the closing credits have rolled and can stand up to the most severe criticism.

Stigmata, the latest pre-millennial thriller - released in the UK in the third week of the 21st century - has trouble in achieving one NSU. The reasons for this seem to be down to a number of factors.

British director Rupert Wainwright, the man behind laugh-free comedy Blank Cheque and The Sadness of Sex, seems to be suffering a few personal demons of his own.

They may be talking in corporate tongues which say: "We want to appeal to the video generation but at the same time keeping the older set happy with a conventional religious-based mystery".

So what we have is the camera staying still for very little time, irrelevant close ups of dictaphones being placed on the table, ashtrays and the like, none of which furthers the drama and after a while, becomes downright irritating. But that's small beer compared to the other over-the-top references to birds, dripping water, bleeding statues and the wounds of Christ which are inflicted on Philadelphia hairdresser Patricia Arquette.

When Pat starts bleeding from the eyes you get an obvious flash of the statue we have seen through the rest of the movie experiencing the same thing.

Apparently, the editor thinks he's dealing with an audience so stupid they're not going to understand what happened a few minutes earlier.

Subtlety doesn't seem to be a word in our film-makers' dictionary.

There's also very little suspense here - one of the cheapest commodities to attain in a movie and easily one of the most effective in such a thriller. Instead we have some over the top scenes where people don't just fall over. They take huge amounts of household items with them: Lights, crockery that sort of thing. Anything that makes a loud noise and looks catastrophic.

As with Gabriel Byrne who played the devil in Peter Hyams' decidedly average End of Days (1999), Pat Arquette seems to be flavour of the month at the moment playing the equally troubled New Yorker in Martin Scorsese's far superior Bringing Out The Dead (1999).

She's a likeable enough actress of limited range and works well with charming co-star Byrne. However, both actors are limited by Tom Lazarus' script.

There's clearly been a fair amount of research done into stigmatics, all of which grounds the movie in its much-needed reality.

The drama opens in Brazil where priest and scientist Gabriel Byrne investigates a bleeding statue in a church where an old preist has been laid to rest. A crucifix from the deceased has been stolen by a young boy and sold to a tourist - our heroine's mother.
As we can tell by the opening titles, Arquette is not the sort of character to live her life according to good Christian values. She loves casual sex and a good time while downing a few beers on a Friday night. Let's face it, given the chance, who doesn't? She is an atheist which causes something of a problem for priest Byrne when he is sent to investigate as stigmatics are usually deeply religious.

Blood soon starts pouring from the puncture marks in her wrists and after an incident on a underground train, it becomes apparent that more than just hospital treatment is needed to tend to her wounds.

Having being whipped across the back by an invisible assailant, her plight is witnessed by both a priest and a handy security camera, the footage of which ends up at the Vatican where shifty head honcho Jonathan Pryce is keen to investigate.

Pryce, as he proved with Tomorrow Never Dies, is just far to nice to play a villain, so it seems a shame that casting agents keep using him as such.

Back to the plot and Byrne becomes personally involved with the photogenic snipper. He's more than a little intrigued when she starts speaking in tongues, levitating and carving ancient text onto the bonnets of cars with a broken bottle.

And so it goes. The Vatican get wind of a yawnsome plot involving an alternate version of the Bible and Pryce arrives in Philadelphia to kill Arquette.

Can Byrne get there in time?
Will this end in time for you to make it down the pub for last orders?

Thankfully yes to both of those counts as this is just the right length for what slender material there is.

At the end of the day, it's just raking over the same territory as The Exorcist: Innocent heroine is possessed by ancient forces; medical science is hopeless in finding a cure; the church steps in; demon is exorcised; cue happy ending.

If you can stand that irritating editing and the gaping plot holes then Stigmata is not bad entertainment however there are many nagging things which stick in the mind such as:

How can a hairdresser afford such an opulent apartment? Did her mum pay for it? Did she win the lottery?

Why doesn't the kid who stole the crucifix in the first place become possessed by the soul of the dead priest or does the dead preiest's spirit have a think for phillies from Philly?

And what happens to Jonathan Pryce's character after he's caught trying to strangle our posessed heroine?

You're not going to wake up in the middle of the night pondering such questions but it would have been nice to see such little irritants explained. That and a little more tension would have made this a worthwhile experience instead of just eye candy with some good actors going through the motions.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

The Lovely Bones

When your last four films made more than $2billion, it’s safe to say you never need to work again.
In the case of some filmmakers, that would not be a bad thing, but in Peter Jackson’s case, fans are chomping at the bit to see what he’s got up his sleeve next.
The Lovely Bones is a marked departure from fantasy epics The Lord of the Rings and King Kong, though it’s not without fantastical elements.
The tale of a murdered Pennsylvania teenager watching over her nearest and dearest from heaven has been in the can for some time now, but Jackson was in no hurry to release it.
Instead, he decided to open it in late January as awards folks peruse the huge list of contenders for Baftas, Oscar, Golden Globes and the like.
Is it any good?
Well Jackson hasn’t made a bad film since Meet The Feebles, his outrageous puppet movie that was sandwiched inbetween low budget classics Brain Dead and Bad Tase and the glorious LOTR and Kong.
With a terrific cast including Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz, Saoirse Ronan and Mark Wahlberg, this is definitely one of the year’s most intriguing offerings.
Purists who love the Alice Sebold novel may moan that it’s not faithful enough to the source material, but the same could be said to LOTR; Jackson improved on that epic tome, and some could say he does the same here.
So while we wait to see what New Zealand’s most lucrative filmmaker does with his animated version of Tintin, here’s the latest chance to see Jackson back on fine form with an intelligent, dazzling slice of drama that should linger long after the closing credits have rolled.


When it comes to subtle sequel titles, Aliens has to be one of the smartest of the last 25 years. In 1987, cult magazine Starlog ran a cartoon which depicted a couple of fans hypothesising that a sequel to that Arnie classic would be called Predators.
Well it made sense, but following Danny Glover’s hit and miss Predator 2 in 1990, the franchise seemed to stall until 2004’s Aliens Vs Predator.
The success of comics and video games had kept the crab-faced alien saga alive, and even the poisonous, morally bankrupt Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem a few years later failed to bury it.
So now we have Predators. A real film not just a gag, which boasts Robert Rodriguez as producer and the brilliant Nimrod Antal as director.
Who he? You may ask? Well he’s the man responsible for brilliant Kate Beckinsale/Luke Wilson thriller Vacancy. He worked wonders with a tiny budget and cranked the tension dial up to 11.
This new movie takes place on an alien planet and sees cold blooded killers tackling the savage ETs. It also boasts such acting heavyweights as Laurence Fisburne and Adrien Brody.
Inevitably there’s lots of creeping around and macho heroics before the eponymous beats hosts their lasers on their quarry.
Is it any good? Well that depends on your love of the saga, but compared to Predator 2 and AVPR, this looks like a masterpiece.
Leave your brain in neutral and enjoy; it’s literally out of this world.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

By the time you read this, Edgar Wright's third film, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, will probably have vanished from UK cinemas and be heading for DVD and Blu ray. A shame because as good as the movie will be on TV, it deserves to be seen on the big screen with a great sound system.
The wafer-thin plot centres on the eponymous slacker, a musician who falls for the gorgeous delivery girl Ramona Flowers while dating a Chinese school girl called Knives.
His assorted friends spent half their time spouting ultra hip comments and the rest of the time playing in their band Sex Bob-omb.
Scott soon realises that if he wants to be with Ms Flowers, he will have to defeat her seven evil exes, which include an egocentric movie star and a vegan with special powers.
Michael Cera is great as the likeable hero; Mary Elizabeth Winstead is sublime as Ramona, and Chris Evans (not that one) steals the evil ex spotlight as the big screen hero, whose departure feels sadly under-realised.
Alas, Ramona is under the thumb of a hip agent and the eventual showdown between hero and villain decides whether Pilgrim wins the girl or winds up dejected.
As with the excellent Shaun of the Dead and the two thirds brilliant Hot Fuzz, Wright does a great job adapting this comic for the big screen. The Manga style of fighting, and obvious obsession with video games is endearing, but a little over done.
At least there are more giggles per minute than in many films of the year.
Probably best seen as a double bill with Kick Ass, SPVTW is bound to develop a cult following in the coming months.
While Cera will no doubt go on to other cool things, the real star of the show is Mary Winstead, a genuine star whose upcoming turn in The Thing prequel cannot come soon enough for one reviewer.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

A Moving Picturehouse

(The following is best read if you were brought up within a few feet of Slade, the Mander Centre and the Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton.)

Your starter for 10, no conferring. What links the movies Dark Journey (a long forgotten Conrad Veidt offering) with (best forgotten) Cannon and Ball vehicle The Boys in Blue?
Neither were blockbusters or achieved Avatar-style household recognition, so to cut to the chase, Dark Journey was the first movie shown at Wolverhampton Odeon in 1937 and The Boys in Blue was one of the last in 1983.
On Boxing Day, Disney’s 3D sci-fi epic Tron Legacy will hit cinemas around the UK, and as I make a seasonal trip back to Wolverhampton to see family and friends, I’ll be stung by a pang of nostalgia as I walk past the former Odeon, now better known as the Diamond Banqueting Suite.
The original Tron was the last film I saw there in 1983, a few weeks before the cinema closed for good and it was transformed into a Top Rank Bingo Club.
There are no doubt plenty of screenings of Tron 2.0 scattered around the Midlands, but 27 years on and it’s remarkable how that memory of the original lingers as I write film and TV guides for no end of websites, programme guides and newspapers.
In The Shining Stephen King suggests a building can retain memories of events that occurred there, like the smell of burnt toast long after charcoaled remains have been thrown in the bin. If that’s so, every brick of the former Odeon must be among the most magical in town.
Throughout the 1970s I was weaned on Disney classics such as Herbie Rides Again, Pete’s Dragon and the like, not to mention all the mid-seventies Children's Film Foundation offerings screened on Saturday mornings. All wholesome family entertainment but not so much pushing the cinematic envelope as nudging it gently with a stick.
However, one Friday night in 1978, my life, like millions of others, was transformed by seeing one movie on that site, a film which stretched the celluloid envelope to breaking point.
Following smuggled sausage rolls and a short film about motorbikes, not to mention obligatory ads for ice cream and peanuts, I saw Star Wars for the first time.
It was the stuff dreams are made of, and while the Odeon had already achieved a magic, Star Wars helped transform it into something special.
A few weeks later, watching the mothership rise up behind Devil’s Tower in Close Encounters of The Third Kind only added to the wonder.
Even the films I didn’t see are still inextricably linked to that building.
I still remember being fascinated in 1975 by the chilling cardboard standees for Ken Russell’s Tommy which graced the foyer, or the 1976 posters for the remake of King Kong, cult football flick Escape To Victory and even Dolly Parton/Jane Fonda comedy Nine To Five that graced the outside walls.
Back in the days before internet and phone bookings, it seemed turning up on the night and hoping for a seat could mean countless hours spent queuing around the block in the hope of seeing the latest Bond epic.
In 2010 of course, you can buy the DVD or Blu Ray of 'The Next Big Thing II' within 12 weeks of the movie release or rent it online, but in those days you either saw it on the big screen or waited between three and five years until blockbusters were granted a TV premiere. (Star Wars was a Sunday night on ITV in 1982 in case you were wondering).
Would we have those days back? The tinny pre-THX Dolby sound; the humdrum projection, or the fact the right hand side of the cinema was reserved for smokers - despite the fact the smoke went wherever it fancied?
Probably not. But the Odeon had a charm that kept me - and thousands of other cinemagoers - happy for decades.
If Grand Designs' Kevin McCloud were to ring and ask what my favourite buildings were - strangely not that impossible these days - I'd have to choose New York’s Chrysler building closely followed by the much missed Odeon.
In a perfect world PJ Price and Harry Weedon's art deco, Grade II listed building on Skinner Street would have a blue plaque outside commemorating almost half a century of magic screened within its walls, but those who were lucky enough to grace those popcorn-strewn carpets carry their own happy memories every time they pass it.
Maybe that's the greatest tribute of all.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

Jerry Bruckheimer's latest attempt to recreate the Pirates of the Caribbean formula is an intriguing affair. Not as woeful as the second or third Pirates films, yet lacking the magic of the first.
However, it does have a lot going for it. Get past the fact that it's clearly based on a video game in which the hero spends most of his time running and jumping from buildings, columns and other assorted high up areas and you're faced with some awkward dialogue between Jake Gyllenhaal (well buffed) and the mesmerising Gemma Arterton, who is like some grown up pouty radiant petulant 19-year-old; all attitude and mystique.
Ben Kingsley may as well walk around the movie with villain tattooed on his forehead, even before our eponymous hero realises his relation is more dubious than Lord Dubious of Dubiousville.
Best of all is Alfred Molina as the obligatory crafty sort who tries to kill our hero, then helps him out and strangely vanishes toward the end of the third act.
(A scene involving an organised ostrich race looks like a demted version of some Bernie Clifton sketch).
The movie looks gorgeous. The craftspeople in Morocco and in Blighty did a superb job spending Disney's money on lavish sets and costumes, so some will spend more time looking at them than the actors who are sold short by an often yawnsome script.
Alas, the movie also suffers from some tired scenes which look like they were lifted from Carry On Up The Khyber: he crashes into a harem at one point, much to the interest of the gathered lovelies, none of whom do anything other than coo and giggle. Women in harem scenes rarely do anything else. See also Monty Python and the Holy Grail as Michael Palin happens upon assorted gorgeous ladies in a castle.
More of Molina's organic dialogue and appeal would have helped POP:SOT no end. However, it's still good fun for all the family and check out the compelling if rather short making of doc on the DVD bonus features.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Argentina, 2002

Clive James once became so hooked on tango he started flying regularly to South America for lessons.
Sitting in the Esquina Carlos Gardel Cena and Tango Show, Buenos Aires' premier nightspot, it wasn't hard to see why.
I was here to sample the best Argentina had to offer - and tango is a great place to start.
This shrine to Gardel's nimble-footed talent is a great introduction to the passion of Argentina.
In one fell swoop you are immersed in their lust for great food (beef especially), excellent wine, scintillating dancing and red-blooded love of life.
From 8.30pm, dinner is served: a huge steak and a coin-sized quiche. It typifies the attitude toward local side dishes - minimal to say the least. Argentinians adore tango and steak as much as they love life. It became more than apparent over the two days I spent there, having flown from Heathrow to Sao Paulo on Varig Airlines' mammoth 777.
The flight from London to Brazil takes around 12 hours and in business class, it's a dream, with acres of leg room, a personal video screen with a choice of games and movies, and an enviable menu.
A connecting flight from Sao Paulo took me to the heart of Argentina and it was obvious that like any city with 13 million port city dwellers (Portenos), South America's most sophisticated city has more than its fair share of problems.
Housing the impoverished in style is clearly on the government's 'to do' list as the fringes of the city are bordered by decaying houses and buildings.
For much of the 1990s, Argentina's stable currency and relatively strong economy made it a financial jewel in the crown of South America. Investment boosted the country's coffers but the government's subsequent spending created problems.
The nation's debt grew and two years ago the country turned for help to the International Monetary Fund.
Argentina is still in trouble but there is a sense of regeneration sprouting around the city as I entered Buenos Aires one rainy Friday lunchtime in May. It was autumn and even the foul weather couldn't detract from fascinating streets and warm-hearted people.
The Microcentro, or heart of downtown, bursts with life and stunning architecture. It may be South America, but, aside from the odd burger chain or video franchise, the city has resisted the all-consuming stamp of global corporations.
An archway of trees welcomes the endless traffic (driving here is best avoided unless you're Eddie Irvine) while alluring shops will help fill that suitcase with trinkets for friends and family.
My guide was keen to reveal the cream of the city's nightspots and who was I to refuse?
My tango knowledge was minimal to say the least before I arrived in Argentina, so by 10.30pm in the theatre, what unfolded was a welcome revelation.
On the stage's top level were the band: a host of immaculately dressed male musicians and a female violinist creating rhythms for the drama which unfolded beneath their feet.
For half an hour or more, the dancers came and went - the magic casting a spell over all.
Interspersed with square-jawed men strutting with a host of sleek women was a mature dancer, fingers dancing over the back of a younger partner. By the end, the crowd went wild.
He wiggled his outstretched hand as if to say 'not bad'.
The self-deprecating humour made the audience love him more.
There was a spring in my stride as I returned to the luxurious Alvear Palace Hotel.
It's an opulent place with 280 rooms, 11 floors and dinners worth forsaking that diet for. Little wonder Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert have chosen to stay here in the past.
Whatever hotel you choose, chances are you'll be more interested in city life.
'Portenos' love partying into the early hours, filling the streets with banter and laughter at a time when even British night owls have retired. Since its economy went into freefall, you get a lot for your pound or dollar these days. (Though the currency is Pesos, you can get by with US dollars and ATM machines.)
So, purely in the interests of research of course, by Saturday night some new-found friends and I sampled the local beer (Antarctica is excellent) in a trendy bar and pool hall.
The hours flew by until we reluctantly made a move at 2.30am.
Even at that time the city is relatively safe. You don't want to wave around the fortune you save on drinks but during the stay I never saw a hint of violence or heard a cross word, in English or otherwise.
And if language does concern you, fear not. Some basic Spanish will see the most verbally challenged through without you ever feeling alienated.
Aside from visiting a good tango show, other must-sees are Caminto in La Boca, a thriving port community of artists, mimes and market traders all set against the backdrop of houses washed in primary colours.
Up the road from the Alvear Palace Hotel is Recoleta Cemetery (1760 Junin Street), one of the three most important in the world after Genoa and the Pere Lachaise in Paris.
It's here that Maria Eva 'Evita' Duarte de Peron's tomb attracts millions of fans, even if you do have a hard time finding it through the maze of exotic burial sites.
Prefer something more lively and off the beaten track? Then estancias (ranches) are ideal.
They let you experience the more iconic images of Argentina, from galloping gaucho on horseback, the country's obsession with yerba mate, (a bitter herbal tea drunk from a gourd through a metal straw) and the asado, or barbecue, where huge quantities of meat are consumed.
Less than an hour's drive from BA is The Villa Maria, where we sampled the latter.
It's a stately 1920 country home with 16 bedrooms, a pool room, horse riding, polo, tennis courts, swimming pool and golf facilities. If you're feeling more adventurous, take an internal flight to the Parque Nacional Iguazu. Here the spectacular Iguassu waterfalls on the border between Argentina and Brazil make it well worth a trip.
The Sheraton Hotel pays host to toucans and tourists all year round - and they're not just there for the great menu.
Its breath-taking surroundings were the backdrop for Robert De Niro's historical epic The Mission and 007 blockbuster Moonraker. However, no movie screen in the world can capture the 360 degrees of spectacle awaiting you. Millions of gallons of water thunder down a series of falls, the tour teases you toward ever-more delirious views.
Good walking boots and all-over waterproofs are a must as this power shower of epic proportions takes your breath away.
However long you stay and wherever you go, Argentine spirit gets into the blood like a virus.
Unlike the obligatory souvenir for Auntie Beryl, the South American lust for life is something you gladly take home - along with a thousand great memories.

Saturday, 11 September 2010


[This article was written in December 2009]

James Cameron has always been a visionary director, since he burst onto an unsuspecting world with The Terminator in 1984.
At $6million, that movie was anticipated by almost nobody; the big film of that Orwellian year was Dune - at $40million, the most expensive film ever made.
Fast forward to 2009, and Cameron returns from more than a decade in the film-making wilderness to deliver his most expensive, ambitious film yet.
It's rare for any movie to live up to they hype these days, and at a cost of $300million, the critics were sharpening their quills to stab at the self proclaimed king of the world. Comparisons to Ferngully and Halo were rife, but Avatar quickly buries those small minded, trite
jibes; this is the real deal, and every penny of its price tag is up there on the big screen.
The 3D is as immersive as you'd hope from any big screen blockbuster which requests grown men and women sit in chilly cinemas looking like refugees from the golden era of the 1950s - akarather ridiculous. James Cameron's script might not be the most polished in the world, but on a comic book, teenage level it works wonders, and it's hard not to be gripped by some of the best action scenes committed to celluloid.
Will it make it's money back? Only time will tell.*
However, for one 41-year-old who has grown up loving most of Cameron's work, the fact i could quite happily sit through the movie again a couple of hours after watching it suggests it will make a pile of cash from repeat business.
Do yourself a favour, get to the biggest cinema screening it with a pair of 3D glasses, sit back and enjoy the ride.
For once you can believe the hype.

* To date Avatar has grossed more than $2.7billion worldwide.

Why you should avoid Knowing

***This review contains spoilers ***

[The following refers to Knowing, a movie starring Nicolas Cage, which ranks as one of the worst ever made.]
Oh dear, where to start?
Okay, for a movie obsessed with numbers, here's three you need to know: 1.12 - or rather 1hr 12 mins - the time at which this promising movie goes off the rails with an annoying twist straight out of The Forgotten and countless other poor sci-fi flicks.
For a man who works at MIT, it's obvious our moping hero doesn't recognise a plot device that was used in Close Encounters back in the late seventies.
Hmm, a series of random numbers. Ooh, they're all dates when disasters happen and the number of casualties.
Ooh, but what are these unaccounted for numbers? Could they be co-ordinates?
How about: Yes Nicolas Cage? Yes, they are and yes i saw the same plot device used when i was 10 years old.
isn't a bad film for that first 72 minutes. The plot unfolds nicely and the premise is good. Cage is okay, not great and it ticks over nicely. But as that shark looks into view at the 72min mark i found myself getting angry as the inevitable twist loomed its large, ugly head. And from that point on it just got worse.
Remember that annoyed feeling you may have felt at the end of Contact when Jodie Foster lands on an alien planet and it looks like something from a holiday advert (aka a complete sell out?) That's mild compared to the hideous mess of a resolution at the end of Knowing. And that last half hour of AI, with the rubbish aliens?
Also as bad here, complete with a spaceship that still looks like CGI artwork pitched to the producers, complete with stupid floaty contraptions that are utterly pointless (even a fantasy film has to have some logic).
As for the protracted ending in which Cage emotes to his son for what seems like days, well that's 10 minutes of my life i'll never get back.
I've seen some bad films in my time but Knowing ranks up there with Rancid Aluminium as one of the worst.
Three words: avoid, avoid, avoid.


When Christopher Nolan's latest film Inception opened in July, i predicted a $700million worldwide haul. It was clearly a smart movie - one of the smartest ever made - but didn't have the widespread recognition of his Batman saga, so as The Dark Knight grossed $1billion, it seemed a good guesstimate that Inception would do less business.
However, a couple of months on and the movie is still going strong.
It's just opened in China - one of the strongest openings there since the Transformers movies. It seems Nolan has finally cracked the formula for making great cinema that appeals to different ages and expectations.
For those tired of wafer thin plots with next to no story, Inception is a feast of a film that keeps you thinking about it for weeks afterwards.
However, it's not all chin-stroking philosophy; there are muscular action scenes here worthy of any 007 movie, so the action crowd go home happy.
Then there are all those little moments that are well worth a second look, which is why repeat viewings are not only recommended but almost essential.
On top of which you have a solid performance from Leo DiCaprio; arguably his best in years, and there's little chance of guessing the outcome halfway through like some did in Shutter Island.
Oh, and there's also the outstanding Ellen Page, who asks all the questions that we, the confused viewer might ask, and Tom Hardy, as the muscle to Leo's brain.
Inception isn't just the best film of 2010, but also one of the best films ever made; a Blade Runner for the millennium, whose skillful construction will be analysed by countless filmmakers for years to come as they try and craft their own movies which balance brain and brawn on the big screen.
A few will succeed, most will fail.